Slumping Green Bay Packers’ kicker Mason Crosby did what he was supposed to do Sunday in the team’s 48-10 blowout of the Seattle Seahawks – make field goals and extra points.
But you’d think he pitched in as quarterback or hit a 70-yard, game-winning kick the way everyone – including Green Bay Press-Gazette columnists Pete Dougherty and Rob Demovsky – gushed over his first error-free performance in five games.
Crosby made two field goals in Sunday’s win – one from 29 yards out and the other from 52 yards in the fourth quarter. This after botching relatively routine kicks of 43, 38, 42 and 34 yards in recent weeks.
Crosby nearly pulled a Bill Gramatica-like celebration after nailing the 52-yarder, pumping his fist and head-butting holder Jeremy Kapinos.
“A good feeling coming off these last few weeks to hit one I knew exactly when it left my foot it was going through,” Crosby said. “It was nice. Cold day, little wind turning, but I had a lot of confidence out there today, and the (snap-hold-kick) operation was perfect. It was good to be able to celebrate as soon as I hit the ball.”
The crowd erupted in cheers, as did the entire Packers’ bench, and players gushed about the moment after the game. “Green Bay Packers’ Mason Crosby rewards coaches’ faith,” the headline of the Press-Gazette column read Sunday afternoon.
“It had the crowd and everybody,” cornerback Tramon Williams said. “It was a great kick for him. Hopefully, he continues doing well at that into the playoffs, however far we go.”
And therein lies the rub. Yes, Crosby was error-free Sunday, but that’s what he’s SUPPOSED to do and there are still at least two games left in the Packers’ season. They’re big ones, too. Next week’s game at Arizona could determine who Green Bay meets in the first round of the playoffs, and well, playoff games are always important so that should go without saying, no matter who the team faces.
There’s little room for error. And Crosby has already cost Green Bay at least one victory this season, missing a 34-yard field goal at Pittsburgh last Sunday that was the difference in the Steelers’ 37-36 win. I still think the Packers should have brought in recently released kicker John Carney last week as competition for Crosby, but some think that’s unfair this late in the season.
Crosby – and his teammates – need to cool it and focus on what’s really important here – making more kicks. And big ones, at that. Otherwise, those newly supportive fans will be chanting for his head again and Crosby will be looking for a new job next season.